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November 1, 2023

Summertown Studio’s intimate dinner with Adelaide chef

Salopian Inn chef Jimmy Toone partners with Summertown Studio for their first small town table event this Friday, showcasing local produce in a Mediterranean inspired menu.

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  • Words: Helen Karakulak
  • Pictures: Jack Fenby

Summertown Studio is welcoming SA chef Jimmy Toone and his partner Jo Leal into their venue this Friday for their first Small Town Table event, with an exciting seasonal menu staring local produce.


Summertown Studio Small Town Table
7pm Friday, November 3
13 Paringa Avenue, Somerton Park


For one night only, Jimmy and Jo will cook up a twilight dinner for an intimate long table set up in Summertown Studio’s plant-filled and mood-lit pergola.

“It’ll be nice for me to get down the hill and cook down that way because I grew up down south in Willunga, so it just kind of feels like home for me,” Jimmy says.

Jimmy is the head chef at the Salopian Inn in McLaren Vale, the maker behind Secret Pizza Club, which he affectionately describes as his “COVID baby”, and its sibling  Secret Pasta Club, born out of Jo’s keen pasta making.

“Jo and I spent four years living in Europe working in our 20s and just sort of fell in love with a lot of those flavours and they  translate pretty well to the produce we have here on the Fleurieu,” Jimmy says.

Their Mediterranean influence comes through on the menu they’ll be serving up at Summertown, which includes parmesan gougere with truffle custard, chargrilled chicken skewers, charcoal grilled calamari, BBQ beef short rib and a tiramisu to finish.

Summertown’s Small Town Table full menu

For Jimmy, the fun of cooking in different environments is seeing what you can do with different limitations. In this case, his travelling kitchen that’ll be set up at Summertown includes barbecues to cook over a fire.

Through Secret Pizza Club and other ventures, Jimmy’s no stranger to a pop-up. He says their main appeal is being able to create a unique food experience for guests.

“There might be a few favourites that we repeat, but generally speaking, [the menu] are just one and done,” he says.

“It gives us some sort of flexibility, a little bit of a creative outlet … we try to make it a bit different to the restaurant or the other pop ups which just keeps it interesting for us.”

To set the mood, local artist Cazeaux O.S.L.O will play a range of vinyl 45s with Summertown’s resident florist, Shack Flowers taking care of the floral décor.

Hither & Yon will be on pour for the night, with veggies for the evening supplied by Village Greens, a small-scale organic garden located in Aldinga ­– about 40kms south of Adelaide.

Summertown Studio’s plant-filled pergola

Jimmy says this collaboration with Summertown Studio works because they have shared values when it comes to the importance of supporting local.

“In Australia, it’s become a little bit more important to know where your foods coming from which generally, if it’s coming from, you know, a good local producer, it’s probably going to be ethically produced and I think a lot of a lot of restaurants are now conscientious of supporting the right suppliers that are doing the right thing,” he says.

“[Summertown Studio] are on the same page, they want it to be a good night for everyone – good music, good booze and good food hopefully, so it should be a recipe for a winner.”

Small Town Table is happening at Summertown Studio Friday, November 3. Find out more on their website.

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